cuyahoga

cleveland
department
public
health
ohio
Environment

Childhood Lead Poisoning Facts

Learn The Risks:
  • For lower levels, the most important actions are to lower lead exposure in the places where your child lives and spends time. Blood lead levels will come down if sources of lead are cleaned up or removed.
  • High levels of lead (45 micrograms per deciliter or higher) are serious and usually require urgent medical treatment. See your child’s doctor right away.
Get Kids Tested:


  • Test children every year between the ages of 1 year and 6 years.
  • Children not tested between the ages of 1 and 4 years should be tested at least once between 5 and 6 years.
  • Know your child’s blood lead level. Blood levels of 5 and above are harmful.
How do I know if my child should be tested for lead?
  • Have Medicaid including Healthy Family or Healthy Start Insurance?
  • Live in Cleveland or an inner ring suburb?
  • Live in or visit a house that has peeling, chipping, dusting, or chalking paint?
  • Live in or visit a house built before 1978 with recent, ongoing, or planned renovation or remodeling?
  • Have a sibling or playmate that has or did have lead poisoning?
  • Frequently come into contact with an adult who has a hobby or job involving lead?

  • If you answered yes to any of these questions, your child may be at - risk for lead poisoning and should be tested.
What do I do if I think my child or I have been exposed to lead?

Talk to your pediatrician, general physician, or local health agency about what you can do. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check you or your child for lead exposure. You may also want to test your home for sources of lead.

Contact us at (216) 263-LEAD (5323) to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

Reduce Lead Hazards:
  • Ask about lead hazards when buying or renting a home. Look for chipping, peeling, chalking paint or lead dust. Lead dust is usually found in windows, doorways, porches and on the ground near porches or garages.
  • Have your home checked for lead by a licensed lead risk assessor. Always hire a lead abatement contractor with special training to properly treat or remove lead hazards.
  • Have children wash their hands before eating. Wash toys and pacifiers often. To play a game that teaches children to wash their hands and reduce lead hazards: Click Here



  • Serve your child food that can reduce the amount of lead in the body. These include foods with calcium (such as milk and yogurt), iron (such as lean red meats and cereals that have iron), and vitamin C (such as oranges and tomatoes).